A Photo For Sunday: 1993 Ford Mondeo CLX

The UK didn’t get this badge though it might have got an identically specified car under another label. This is a Euro-market, Mondeo CLX.

1993 Ford Mondeo CLX

Unfortunately I did not get close enough to the object to a) take a better picture or b) inspect the tailgate. From a distance I could see no clues as to whether this one could have been a 1.6, 1.8 or 2.0 litre version. There are certainly people out there who are intimately familiar with the engine and trim variants of these cars. That is not me.

However, it is the UK and German market where the interest and expertise exists in sufficient numbers so that someone will collate the information and post it somewhere accessible. In Denmark I don’t imagine there is a Ford Mondeo spec nerd who has collected a brochure for every year of this car’s sales life. I am nearly tempted to undertake this as a public service. It’ll cost me about €20 to get the brochures… am I really that curious?

1993 Ford Mondeo CLX

While I tend to view the UK and ROI markets as normative, this is certainly not a justified point of view. The correct view is that a car called the Mondeo with a wide variety of spec levels was sold with a varied set of corresponding trim designations. Wikipedia claims that the Netherlands and only the Netherlands got a version called GT. The CLX seems so be what as sold in the UK as the LX.

I’d really need a set of UK brochures and a Danish market brochure to back that up. I can reveal the car has rear head restraints meaning it is higher up the pecking order than boring old unmarked base. Bearing in mind that that Denmark’s vehicle import taxes are rather high, this might be a peculiar Danish combination that doesn’t correspond to a UK market model.

Author: richard herriott

I like anchovies. I dislike post-war town planning.

19 thoughts on “A Photo For Sunday: 1993 Ford Mondeo CLX”

  1. Slightly surprised this hasn’t attracted any comments – I really like Mk1 Mondeos and always have. This one seems in remarkably good nick, supremely unpleasant wheeltrims notwithstanding, and in a half-decent colour too. It is archetypally of-its-time, but in this case, that’s no bad thing.

    With that said, I do remember these got absolutely pilloried in Oz for the road noise on local blacktop that the tyres (Goodyear NCT2s) generated. For whatever reason, those were not a good match at all. The local press was polite but the gist of the reviews was – we’re not sure this is really a better car than the Telstar (626) it was replacing.

    I liked the 626, too.

  2. I’m not a fan of this Mondeo generation at all. To me it looks flaby and unsubstantial. No wonder they had to apply a very thorough facelift after a short time (not as bad as with the Escort, though). Compared with the Laguna and the Xantia from roughly the same year, these two have aged much better than the Mondeo.

  3. I remember driving one of these a long time ago. It was something of a revelation in the ‘chassis dynamics’ department, let down by a rough and noisy 2.0l petrol engine. The interior colouring was somewhat disturbing from memory – kind of pond-water brown and green velour (with a high nylon content from the way in which clothing held a static charge on exit) with a mid–brown plastic trim.

  4. The 1st-gen Mondeo was sold in Brazil in CLX and GLX spec levels. It fitted between the Versailles (a rebadged VW Santana) and the Taurus, making Ford a strange melting pot of a rebadged Brazilian VW, an European global car and an American barge.

    Here’s a coupe Versailles, for your pleasure:

    1. That looks like one of the early Protons that made it to the UK (the Sana?). ‘Crude’ does not even begin to describe it.

  5. Ah, I know, the Sana was a Yugo … and just as/ even more lamentable in the refinement of its design!

  6. This was the disaster sold in North America as the Ford Contour, although Wikipedia now says: “Despite being billed as a world car, the only external items the Mondeo shared initially with the Contour were the windscreen, front windows, front mirrors and door handles.”

    Well, who knew? It looked the same. The bankrupt Woolies was being torn down on the main floor of the combined indoor shopping mall/office tower complex I worked at in those days. So the main local Ford distributor rented the empty space with its big floor to ceiling windows and stuck a few new Contours in there. All those well-off electric power company and federal office workers wandering about at lunch time could go in and examine the Contour’s magnificence at leisure.

    Well, none of the men in my cadre could comfortably occupy the rear seat, while the salesman informed/assured us we were comfortable. What an ass! One of my employees, a Ford man, told him where to get off, being highly disappointed. The thing was simply too small inside to be a family car, and the dash had more bits and pieces trying to fit properly than a Lego set.

    It apparently drove well, but cost $15k, whereas its admittedly cheap and very nasty forebear, the Tempo, was $10K. Helloooo, Ford marketers! There were about half as many people who could afford this thing compared to its predecessor which featured extra thick carpet in the Ghia version to tempt the mechanically unaware, but was just as big inside with a better rear seat. Sure, by all reports the Contour was a good modern car to drive, but so what? It sat around forlornly on lots, an overpriced and over-reaching model. It needed to match a Honda Accord and Toyota Camry for that price, and it was half a size too small with much nastier plastics inside.

    Didn’t know a soul who bought one, and it was supposed to be a volume model. Yup, they missed on that turkey. It was withdrawn about 2000, and all they had to sell was the by-then antedeluvian rental special Taurus, until we got the Fusion as a 2006 model, and that was a Mazda 626 in disguise. Much better.

    1. That anecdote puts a good gloss on the public record which is the same but boring: back seats too small, car too pricey.
      Where does one begin with this? How about point-counterpoint because it’s not as simple as “stupid Ford” though it doesn’t leave them off the hook.
      World car: yes, the US and EU cars had different visible panels but the cars had more commonality than their predecessors. Eventually the products were alligned (25 years later!)
      It cost too much: yes, it cost more but Ford wanted a better car than the crummy Tempo.
      Legroom: there wasn’t lots of it but (I am guessing) Ford thought it better than cars like the 190E and BMW 3 which sold well and most rear passengers would be children or there for short trips anyway.
      Hindsight and Bill makes clear that Ford’s assumptions were all quite but not totally wrong. I only want to say that that might not have been as evident in 1988-1990 as it is now.
      The goals were increased commonality and higher quality for a higher price. The reality as Bill shows (I like the Woolworth detail) was not enough commonality, compromised packaging and a price Tempo customers couldn’t understand.

    2. A little research shows the Tempo had a 99.9″ wheelbase and the Contour 106.5″. So where did those six inches go to?
      Is the Contour not being compared with cars from the class above? The Accord and Camry fistfight the Taurus which was on sale too.

      This thread has turned into FoMoCo history research!

    3. This somehow brings us to the point – the difficulty of making a global car that’s equally suited to North American and European tastes. The perception of what’s the right size for a standard car are just too different. In America, it’s rather the Taurus/Camry class whereas the Mondeo was spot on among all the Vectras, 406s and Lagunas. This might have slightly changed since the time of that Mondeo, as the European D-segment by now has outgrown what once was the E-segment. Although I have the impression that the interior size of the cars hasn’t grown accordingly.

    4. Yet the A4, 3-series and C-class don’t get kicked for their size which at one point was small. I don’t get it. All cars can’t be equally huge; the Mondeo was roomier than a 3 (for example). Yet the Contour was savaged – the Taurus was intended for people who need space.

    5. I guess the difference was int the intended use.
      Yes, the ABM cars were rather smaller (inside) than a Mondeo, but I can imagine that they were seen as an indulgence for couples or single drivers rather than as a family car. The Contour wanted to be the latter and failed – in American eyes. And it couldn’t be the former due to lack of image / sportiness / luxury (insert whatever drives someone to by one of the ‘Premiums’).

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